Tag Archives: Trains

The Dining Car Will Soon Return to Amtrak Trains | Southern Living

The throwback to a golden era of train travel will only be available for certain routes.

By Melissa Locker, Updated October 22, 2021

Credit: NBC / Contributor/Getty

Good news for people who like eating while in motion: Amtrak may be bringing back the beloved dining car.

That’s right, eating your Whataburger honey butter biscuit behind the wheel is no longer the most glamorous way to eat-on-the-go.

Back in the fall of 2019, Amtrak announced that it was getting rid of the classic dining car —the ones with china and flatware on a white tablecloth—in favor of pre-packaged options. This was before the pandemic, so they couldn’t use health and safety as an excuse to stave off the inevitable firestorm of criticism.

While Amtrak executives may have been looking to cut costs, people really love the romantic notion of dining off of fine china while rolling through the night. Cutting the full dining car experience transformed train travel from something elegant and nostalgic to utilitarian.

Luckily, Amtrak has realized the error of its ways. The Washington Post reports that six long-distance routes, including the Texas Eagle, on the leg that connects Los Angeles to San Antonio, and the Sunset Limited, which runs between New Orleans and Los Angeles will once again offer dining options for sleeper car customers “that harken back to the golden age of rail travel.” Sadly, folks traveling routes on the eastern side of the Mississippi will be stuck with decidedly unromantic ready-made meals served on plastic trays.

Source: The Dining Car Will Soon Return to Amtrak Trains | Southern Living

Amtrak’s Plan to Connect the U.S. – Railway Age

Written by Kevin Smith, Editor-in-Chief, International Railway Journal
September 14, 2021

From article…

Biden has been a vocal supporter of the federally owned passenger operator for almost the entirety of its existence: from his days as a U.S senator when he would regularly ride the train from Wilmington, Del., to Washington D.C.; to his time as the U.S. Vice President, when he presented the Obama Administration’s plans for several short-lived high-speed passenger projects as part of a 2009 economic stimulus package.

Now as the 46th President, Biden has made rebuilding and reviving the country’s infrastructure, including its passenger rail operator, the signature policy of his first term. The American Jobs Plan was announced by Biden on March 31 and has since moved to Congress for debate and negotiation.

From article…

The Administration hopes the legislation that emerges will satisfy Biden’s objectives so he can sign it into law this autumn. Inevitably, given the variety of views on the scale and ambition of the proposal on both sides of the political spectrum, there have been several compromises.

From a $2.3 trillion plan when Biden presented it, the Senate scaled it back to a $1 trillion initiative, including $550 billion of new spending.

However, the legislation took a significant step forward on Aug.10 when 19 Republican senators joined with their 50 Democratic colleagues to pass a bi-partisan Infrastructure bill, a move praised by Biden.

As it stands, the bill includes $66 billion for intercity passenger rail, with $22 billion of this figure set to go directly to Amtrak. This includes $6 billion for the Northeast Corridor, and $16 billion for the national network, including state-supported services.

Source: Amtrak’s Plan to Connect the U.S. – Railway Age

Train Travel in the U.S. Is Getting More Luxurious | Condé Nast Traveler

Upscale sight-seeing tours, new products from Amtrak, and planned high-speed routes are making U.S. train travel more comfortable and convenient.

By Barbara Peterson, September 7, 2021

Getty

Rail is on a roll, thanks to a new emphasis in Washington on infrastructure and the environment.

These efforts are boosting not just Amtrak’s fortunes, but those of private sector high-speed rail projects across the U.S. But will American travelers reap the benefits—as in, better and more reliable trains?

Train journeys have long been viewed as more sophisticated than traveling by either road or air, but train travel in the U.S. has long lagged behind Europe and Asia, where intercity trains are both high speed and high quality experiences.

In contrast, Amtrak has been plagued by aging rolling stock (some of its rail cars date back almost to its inception 50 years ago) and sagging on-time performance. That’s because the quasi-public company has spent much of its history battling congressional critics who’ve periodically voted to slash the line’s federal funding, arguing it’s a waste of taxpayer money.

Source: Train Travel in the U.S. Is Getting More Luxurious | Condé Nast Traveler

The Best Train Trips in the World: 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards | Condé Nast Traveler

The places that stayed with you in a year when travel may have been out of reach.

By Todd Plummer, December 21, 2020

For our 33rd annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey, wanderlust came front and center—and what better way to indulge than with a decadent train journey?

Yes, train trips appeal to “slow travel” lovers drawn to a glamorous, old-world mode of exploration.

But there’s also something to be said about a sense of discovery found onboard a train—you’re really experiencing a landscape in a way that you can’t experience it anyway else. Here, the 10 luxury train trips that our readers selected as the best in the world. Click the link to view this as a complete list.

Source: The Best Train Trips in the World: 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards | Condé Nast Traveler

Rocky Mountaineer: Canadian luxury train debuts its first US route | CNN Travel

Will McGough, CNN, Updated 16th August 2021

From article…

(CNN) — The United States’ railroad system is getting a boost from its northern neighbor.

One of Western Canada’s most-decorated luxury scenic train lines, the Rocky Mountaineer, launched its first US route on August 15 through its namesake mountain range, running two-day, one-night trips back and forth between Denver, Colorado, and Moab, Utah.

The new route, known as Rockies to the Red Rocks, joins the line’s three rail offerings in Western Canada (Vancouver to Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper) and takes passengers through several distinct regions of Colorado before cruising into the heart of canyon country in Southern Utah.

Source: Rocky Mountaineer: Canadian luxury train debuts its first US route | CNN Travel

Billions of dollars aren’t enough to fix America’s train problem | SLATE

By Henry Grabar, Aug 09, 202111:34 AM

Amtrak celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2021. Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

As part of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that is edging ever closer to passage, Congress is set to give Amtrak $30 billion for the Northeast Corridor between Washington and Boston, part of a $66 billion grant for the network nationwide.

To some, this may seem like a good step toward realizing a future of American train travel that’s more in line with the high-speed, low(er)-cost systems in countries like Japan and France. Alon Levy, a mathematician who works on the Transit Costs Project at New York University, estimates that somewhere between $15 billion and $20 billion would be needed to implement a high-speed, fairly affordable, and frequently running train system between Boston and Washington.

But Amtrak seems to have less ambitious plans for the “greatest investment in Amtrak’s 50-year history.” Rather than using the funds to build an efficient, high-speed rail in the Northeast, Amtrak has allotted $30 billion for one single project: Gateway. Gateway would restore the aging tracks that bring commuters from New Jersey to New York City, rebuild an existing tunnel, construct a second tunnel, and expand Penn Station.

Source: Billions of dollars aren’t enough to fix America’s train problem.